Two Innovative Learning Apps from Sourcebits Clients

eHighLighter learning app available on App Store.

In our last education post we talked about applications from three of our clients that are making an impact in broad areas of education, from mobile learning and collaboration to administering the college application process.

This week, we’ll take a look at two clients who are using mobile interfaces inventively in education/academics in two very specific areas, eHighlighter, and SensorTools.

eHighLighter streamlines note taking by transcribing highlights, creating searchable annotations and managing citations with the iPhone camera. While the app can be used by anyone it really shines in education and academics. When a user is researching a paper or studying for an exam using print materials, they simply use the app to first note what they’re reading (you can easily enter the ISBN number that all books have) and what page they’re on. They then “highlight” the section of text they want to notate using the interface and the phone camera. The app captures the highlighted material, transcribes it by OCR, and automatically tags it to the book and page number.

Later, when the user needs to go through their cites or review key portions of material, it’s all organized and stored right in the app. The amount of time this saves when using print research materials is huge, and it’s an innovative solution to a problem that students have had forever.

If you’re a student doing your own primary research, SensorTools might be the right tool for you. This innovative app lets students perform classroom physics experiments using their own smartphones.

This first version includes two modules:

Motion Tracking – for capturing, analyzing, and plotting the motion of, e.g., a falling ball or a glider on an air cushion track.
Light Refraction – for analyzing the refraction of light from one medium to another and determining the index of refraction.

The app uses the phone’s camera to track the data, and returns results that allow students to do their own experiments and truly understand the physics behind every day motion and sight.

What we love about both these apps is that they take the camera, a phone sensor that was not initially intended to be used for this type of activity or measurement, and adopts it to a completely new use–all in the name of learning and science.

Whether you’re developing an education application application, a consumer app, or an enterprise mobile application, the lesson to be learned from these apps is to stretch the boundaries of what you think is possible to give your application the edge it needs to succeed.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Mark Chatow is Executive Director, Global Marketing at Sourcebits. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markchatow